One of the tickets issued for entry into Saturday's games
The Cambodia Premier League has just begun its season and the likelihood is that attendances at matches will decrease. Why? Because the country's football federation have introduced admission charges for the first time and if fans want to sit in the main stand, shaded from the scorching sun, then it will cost then $1 each, which in Cambodia is quite a hefty sum for many. Alternatively they can sit elsewhere in the Olympic Stadium, where all the games are played, but they will be at the mercy of the elements, which at this time of year can be either the hot sun or thunderstorms. The charges were in place for the first time last Saturday without any prior notice and many fans simply turned away and went home. The guys on the door, eager to collect their new bounty, even tried to charge the national team manager a fee to enter. I watched them for a few minutes as it was initially unclear whether it was officially sanctioned or some private money-making scheme and the gatemen were taking their duties very seriously indeed. All the money went into their pockets, so how much actually made it to the desk of the football federation is unclear, but the FFC is unrepentant. "We won't back down. We want to teach them [the spectators] to understand the price of watching," said the general secretary. The tickets actually issued at the game were leftovers from earlier cup competitions including the ticket above, from the Suzuki Cup games back in October of last year, which made some fans even more angry, as they classed them as fake tickets.
Labels: Cambodia football